Name: Kathleen Browning
Hometown: Brooklyn, Connecticut (yes there is a Brooklyn other than the one in NY... and no one has ever heard of it!!) - I live in the South End of Boston now.
Educational Background: B.A. University of Connecticut (Go Huskies!) in Communication Sciences and Disorders, M.S.Sp. from Emerson College in Speech and Language Pathology and an M.Ed. in Special Education Administration from American International College in Springfield, MA
Years at NECP: I worked for 16 years as a Speech and Language Pathologist at NECP and then left in 2012 to be the Coordinator of Speech, Language and Hearing for the Newton Public Schools. I have now returned to NECP, and I am so thrilled to be back!!
What do you feel makes NECP unique? The people make NECP unique. The staff here are the most caring, thoughtful and smart group of people I have ever known. The conversations regarding how we want the program to develop and change for the benefit of present and future children of NECP are invigorating, and I am so happy to be a part of these conversations again!
What do you love most about working with the children at NECP? Although I wish I could sit on the floor more with the children, as I did in my SLP position (and I am trying to begin to get more into classrooms with the construction ending). I love hearing the happy children sounds, walking through the hallways and hearing comments like "I do not want to go home now, I want to play more" and "We love the new playground!" I am also so amazed at the progress the students make in our program, and seeing the growth of students from month to month.
What's a typical day for the Director of the NECP? Since this is my first year as the director, I have no idea what is typical! With the construction, I was not only supporting staff and students through the process, but I was here with Carmen, our custodian, and Cynthia, our Executive Assistant, early mornings and weekends to ensure the building was safe and ready for the youngest learners of NPS. Otherwise, my days have to do with student and teacher support, thinking about and acting on how to better our program, meetings, and emails upon emails! As best I can I have an open door policy... if I am available, come on in and ask me anything! I do have a goal this year of learning how to best communicate to families. The PTO has been so helpful to me with those blasts you get, but I am also trying to tweet at least once a day so parents can see what is happening at NECP. Follow us @NECP_NPS.
What are your hobbies and other interests? I love eating out and am always looking for the best and newest places to eat in the city... I am a foodie! I also enjoy spending time with friends and my friend's kids, shopping and just being out and about in the city. I am a huge beach fan, and a huge summer fan... in flip flops and at the beach is where I will always strive to be!
What did you want to be when you grew up? My mother was a remedial reading teacher. I always knew I wanted to go into education, but I did not quite know what. My very intuitive mother made me come to her school and spend time with each discipline (classroom teacher, psychologist, SLP, OT, etc...) and helped me to determine I wanted to be a Speech and Language Pathologist. When I was tiny, of course, I wanted to be a farmer just like my Grandpa! My favorites were the pigs and whenever there were baby animals of any sort!
What is something that is on your bucket list? Well, I have many things on my bucket list in many categories. I have already jumped out of a plane so that one is done! On my travel list is a safari and on my food list is eating at The French Laundry in Napa.